When it comes to cooking on your gas griddle, various helpful tools are either necessary or worthwhile to have at your disposal. If you have a griddle or are looking into getting one, you’ll want to be sure to know how to use your flat top grill tools and accessories.
Having this knowledge will allow you to take full advantage of your griddle and fully unleash its capabilities. Below I’ll cover the top accessories to have and how best to use them.
The spatula is the primary griddle tool you’ll be operating with. This versatile accessory will allow you to flip, move, mix and chop your foods. Made out of stainless steel, they are fairly large and longer than a typical spatula. I recommend having two on hand when cooking, instead of just one, for a few reasons.
For starters, it can help avoid mixing different foods or flavors. You may want one spatula for making cheeseburgers and a separate one not covered in burger grease for cooking vegetables on the other part of the griddle. By using two spatulas, you can keep them both separate with no cross-contamination.
Also, cooking with two spatulas makes the cooking process much easier. You’re able to move, mix and manipulate the food on the griddle really well when using two. You’ll often see chefs at Japanese teppanyaki restaurants cooking this way.
It allows them to quickly and efficiently move food around the griddle while cooking and portion and serve the food to each person. It would be much more difficult if only using one hand and one spatula.
When finished cooking, they can help scrape off any extra oil or stuck-on food from the griddle surface; however, there’s a tool specifically for that, which I prefer and recommend. Check out our best griddle spatulas article and best spatula for smash burgers article for some great options.
A scraper is a tool you’ll use for cleaning your griddle and scraping off excess food and oil. However, it can also be useful as a chopper for dicing food into smaller pieces as well.
It’s perfect for scraping down the griddle surface between dishes or batches of food being cooked with a large, broad stainless steel flat blade.
Once the food is off, you can scrape any excess remaining into the grease/food trap, so you’re ready to start cooking again. If anything is really stuck on there, squirt a little water onto the griddle as the steam will help loosen it up.
Always be sure to scrape the surface clean when you are done cooking so that you don’t leave it messy, and you can then season your griddle. Seasoning your griddle will help maintain it and also helps avoid food from sticking over time.
As I mentioned earlier, it can be useful for cutting foods while cooking. You can chop up vegetables or meats easily with the scraper tool. It’s stronger and more robust than your spatulas, so it will do a better job of dicing up foods. Please take a look at our top griddle scrapers article.
This stainless steel metal dome is perfect for steaming and melting food. These are perfect when you want to steam vegetables or for melting cheese on burgers and sandwiches. It can also act as a lid when cooking to create an oven cooking effect to cook faster. I recommend one with a heat-resistant handle, so it doesn’t get too hot. Any dish that requires melted cheese (cheeseburgers, Philly cheesesteaks, etc…) is ideal for using the basting cover.
Once the food is just about done, lay the cheese slices on top and cover it with the basting cover. This will quickly and evenly melt the cheese. Once the cheese is melted, remove the cover, and you’re done.
Obviously, you can still melt cheese on without the basting cover, but it takes longer, and you risk overcooking your food if you don’t time it just right. The basting cover melts the cheese quickly so you can put it on just as the food is finishing up.
The other great feature is the ability to steam cook food. You can cook up a variety of foods without using any oils if desired. Common foods to steam on the griddle are vegetables, seafood, and eggs (when cooking them over easy or over hard.)
You’ll place the food on the griddle and squirt a bit of water next to it. Then place the basting cover on top and let it do its job.
The water will evaporate and begin steaming your food. Basting covers make melting cheese super easy and give the ability to cook steamed foods on your griddle, allowing for great versatility. If you don’t want to buy one, you can get away with a stainless steel mixing bowl from your kitchen, but the lack of a handle makes it a little tougher to work with.
Like the basting cover, this accessory gives you some additional options and versatility on the griddle. The griddle press is used to flatten or hold food down while cooking and also allows you to cook the top and bottom of food at the same time.
The press is exactly what you’re looking for when making smash burgers. With a ball of ground beef and a parchment paper sheet, you use the griddle press to “smash” down the meat into a patty on the griddle.
The press is good at holding down foods like bacon that tend to curl up off the griddle surface as they cook.
The press keeps the food flat against the griddle and maximizes the food’s surface area touching the metal. It can also be used to help cook the top part of foods and accelerate cooking times.
You can heat the press on the griddle for several minutes and then place it on top of foods, so you’re cooking the top and bottom simultaneously. This method is great for making grilled cheese and panini-style sandwiches or meat like chicken and steak. The griddle press opens the door to some tasty new dishes and can help you get the crisp texture or crust you’re looking for. Check out our article on the best griddle presses for some great options.
Having a few squeeze bottles on hand can make adding oil, water, or sauce to your griddle a breeze and also gives you better control of how much you’re applying. At a minimum, you’ll want to have one containing the cooking oil you’re using and another one containing water.
The oil will help cook the food and prevent it from sticking to the cooktop. Cooking on a dry cooktop will result in a lot of food cooking onto the griddle, but some oil will help prevent that. You’ll be cooking with some oil the majority of the time, so that’s why having a bottle of oil ready to go will make things much easier.
The water is handy to have because you may want to steam a particular food or want to have it to clean the cooking surface. Squirting some water onto any stuck-on food will help loosen it when scraping clean the griddle. This is also useful to remove any remaining sauce or flavoring still lingering on the griddle.
Sauces are another option to put in the squeeze bottles. Teriyaki, lemon pepper, soy, and BBQ sauce are just a few types you might find handy to have ready in a squirt bottle.
While cooking your meats and/or vegetables, having a squirt bottle will allow you to apply your sauce quickly and evenly. If you decide you need a dash extra, it takes just a second to squirt on a bit more. Another squeeze bottle tip is to fill it with pancake batter. It allows you to precisely squirt the batter onto the griddle to create consistently sized pancakes quickly and with no mess.
You can even break out your artistic side and create different shaped pancakes. I like to make my kid’s initials with the pancake batter (which they love.) The squirt bottles make it easy to draw the pancakes in whatever shape you like.
These tools represent the main items a seasoned griddle cook typically uses. Of course, there are additional tools and accessories you may find yourself using, like a grill fork, tongs, and knives, among others. Check out our top 7 must-have griddle accessories, and for even more fun tools, look at 8 more must-have griddle accessories.
All of the accessories covered above can really enhance your griddle experience and help you turn out some amazing food. Each of these items can be purchased individually; however, you’ll also find some griddle accessory kits for sale that include most of these tools together in one package.